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Balayogi's wife dumped by Naidu

Gulf News

Former Lok Sabha Speaker G. M. C. Balayogi's widow, G. Vijayakumari, has been denied a return ticket for the Amalapuram Lok Sabha constituency according to the second list released by the Telugu Desam Party(TDP) late on Thursday.

Vijayakumari has been replaced with D. Janardhan Rao by TDP supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu. Vijayakumari was elected to the Amalapuram constituency in June 2002 with a phenomenal margin of 3,13,657 votes, exactly three months after her husband died in a copter crash.

Balayogi's death was a major factor in her victory. Once she won, Naidu quite forgot the widow of the man he had taken pride in making the first Dalit speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Although Vijayakumari was entitled to a house in New Delhi, being the speaker's wife, all her attempts failed. She was believed to be upset that Naidu did not use his clout with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government to help her. Angry TDP workers from Amalapuram constituency said this was yet another example of Naidu's "use and throw" policy.

In fact, one more victim from the second list is another TDP "retainer" – Sripati Rajeshwar Rao – the legislator from Sanathnagar constituency in Hyderabad, who even threatened self-immolation in front of NTR Bhavan on Thursday.

Rao, who is also the President of the All India NTR Fans Association, was whisked away by party leaders into a meeting with Naidu to be mollified. Rao emerged to say Naidu had asssured him that justice would be done.

But G Jaipal Yadav, legislator from Kalwakurthy assembly in Mahabubnagar district was not so easily pacified. His seat has gone to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), under the alliance with the TDP.

About 150 supporters of Yadav laid seige to NTR Bhavan shouting slogans. Some vocal supporters said this was the reward for Yadav after surviving a murderous attempt on his life by the Naxalites.

His supporters pointed out that Naidu's brush with an assassination attempt led to dissolution of the Assembly so he could come back on a sympathy wave, whereas Yadav was being left out.

Another prominent TDP leader out of the running is Vadde Shobhanadreeswara Rao, fomer MP and minister in the United Front government. Publicly Rao says he hopes to be accommodated in the Mylavaram constituency in Krishna district.

Rao has made it clear he will accept no "mercy" seats amidst rumours he might be given the Vijayawada Lok Sabha seat.